It's Rough Being an Alaskan

It's Rough Being an Alaskan
King Crab stock with Kaffir Lime & Coriander for Thai Bisque

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Another Day Another Dollar

Wedding cake was a success, and I wasn't up all night with frosting smeared all over me. The best part of the whole experience was poking in the last rose bud today, and then handing it over to the eager twittering bridesmade.  And, I didn't trip in the piles of heavy snow on my way out to the clients car so that was a plus. Happy client, happy day.

We catered a final plated luncheon today at Centennial Hall for a large conference we've been slaving away on all week. Basically, I've learned that librarians like to drink a lot of orange juice and can put down gallons of homemade soup like no one's business. The plated luncheon was pretty low key, organized and not our usual hooplah. After all these plated events, I feel like we're really getting the hang of it and it's actually a fun, team-building and challenging experience!

I remember the first time we ever catered a plated dinner for 350 people (which in chef's numbers is like 1000 when you have never done one that large before), my heart was pounding so fast and my head had this buzzing sound reverberating around like an angry bee. "Oh, no what if we didn't make enough cognac sauce a for the shortribs nd oh, dear what if we run out of red pepper garnish?" keeps drumming through my brain. My husband, Tom, is yelling at the servers in the background to pay attention to their tables and tuck their shirts in, the dishwasher just ran out of soap, and oh, hell, we don't have enough plate covers to keep the food warm, so what do we do now? Everyone freezes. That's what a normal plated event is like.

I had an ephiphany when it came to my very late dinner last night: it is never too late for a toasted cheese sandwich. And, not the goopy yellow American cheese (which I used to like and have moved on to better things), but the real deal. I think the smell of butter browning and sputtering cheese is as good as wrapping yourself a warm towel fresh out of the dryer after a shower.
Number one rule: you have to have good bread, you must use salted butter and you must use really good melty cheese that has some personality.

The sandwich was made with a delicious spongy sourdough loaf with a crispy crust, Tillamook extra sharp white cheddar, mesquite smoked bacon, and the surprise--tart Granny Smith Apple. Biting into the sandwich and hearing that satifying crunch and then the rush of warm cheese melting into your mouth, you will be in love.

Midnight Toasted Cheese Sandwich
Serves 2

4 slices of sourdough bread, medium thin sliced (this is important, if it's too thick the cheese gets lost)
5 slices of extra sharp white cheddar
4 pieces of crisp cooked thick-cut Mesquite bacon
1 Granny smith apple, halved cored and thinly sliced
Fresh Coarse ground pepper
2 Tablespoons of softened salted butter

Smear butter on 1 side of each slice of bread, top with 2.5 slices of cheese, apple, then bacon. Sprinkle with a little ground black pepper. Press on the second buttered slice of bread and place both sandwiches into a preheated skillet on medium low. Put a lid on skillet and cook slowly until bread crisps to a deep golden brown, turning and doing the same on the second side, and inside is melted and goey.
Let rest 2 minutes, then cut in half and enjoy.
If you are one of those people who likes baked brie with apples, you will love this!

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